Skip to comments.'Brokeback Mountain': Macho men in love
Posted on 12/28/2005 8:48:09 AM PST by presidio9
In case you've been hunkered down on Mount Kenya, "Brokeback Mountain" recently opened. No hurricanes destroyed Orlando. No meteorites were reported in Los Angeles.
In fact, the film quietly attracted record-breaking crowds in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. And so it seems that Ang Lee's film about two cowboys in love is at minimum surviving. The reason for this is hard to figure out.
Could it be that all three opening cities have hefty gay populations? Another option is that right-wing groups, such as Focus on the Family, are all but keeping silent, in hopes that the film just goes away. Or it might have to do with Hollywood hunks Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal and their huge female fan bases.
Whatever the reason, Exhibitor Relations Co. reports that over the first weekend, Dec. 10-11, the film brought in the highest per-screen average for any film release in 2005.
And if that's not enough, "Brokeback Mountain" has already landed awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Associations and the New York Film Critics Circle.
Even some real-life cowboys applaud the flick. "I think it's something that's now just being more understood," seven-time world-champion cowboy Ty Murray, who is straight, recently told ABC's Good Morning America. "Hopefully, this movie helps people further understand it."
But as a gay man from a small town like the one in "Brokeback Mountain," I find that the beauty of this film lies in its navigating away from stereotypes to convey the power and randomness of love. A welcomed change, I'm sure, for many especially gay Americans.
Two years ago, I published a column, "Queer TV: Advancing Tolerance or Fostering Stereotypes?" In it, I questioned whether such shows as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Queer as Folk" were anything more than ratings ploys. And I wondered what viewers, once they found themselves uninterested, might come away with.
Would these programs help in showing the normality of being gay? Or would many viewers come away thinking that we were indeed "different"?
Hollywood has featured gay characters since the 1930s, usually as the effeminate best friend of the leading man. Their orientation was understood, though not discussed. This continued through the '50s, when gay characters were portrayed as emotionally troubled and often suicidal.
By the '70s, both cinema and television started to discuss real-life gay issues.
And during the '80s and '90s, gay characters and gay-themed programming moved to the forefront. Still, the way in which they were depicted in most cases cultivated dated stereotypes.
Now, through movies such as "Brokeback Mountain," Hollywood is shedding light on the fact that not all gay men are fashion gurus, hairdressers, interior designers, and superior in the arts, but that some might God forbid be cowboys, herding sheep in Wyoming. And, more important, capable of love-based relationships.
Not all of us gay folk are comfortable with the flamboyance of gay-pride parades. And many would rather sip a Killian's in an Irish pub than dance to techno in a noisy gay bar. "Gay" has nothing to do with lifestyle. And rather than coming out of the closet to make a declaration of individuality or identity, most of us "come out" so that we can share the gift of love openly with another individual.
So when the numbers are tallied and the awards dispersed, my hope is that "Brokeback Mountain" is seen not only as a monumental moment in cinema history but also as a daring and original attempt to prove that love is not bound by interpretation or stereotype.
So how many $$$ did it bring in?
I don't see any $$$ figures!
What a bunch of liars. It's a flop and they KNOW it.
Difficult to know where to begin in trashing a piece like this....
Broken (in) Back Mountain is about SHEEP HERDERS. Not real sure how "macho" sheep herding is viewed as being.
>>"Gay" has nothing to do with lifestyle. And rather than coming out of the closet to make a declaration of individuality or identity, most of us "come out" so that we can share the gift of love openly with another individual.<<
Oh this writer has GOT to be kidding!
Gay has EVERYTHING to do with lifestyle. Every gay person I know, including my own sister, does everything they can to be in your face.
Cut me a break.
Start at "The End"...........
As Howie Carr (Boston talk show host) says in paraphrasing Oscar Wilde: "the love that dare not speak its name just won't shut up".
...let alone record breaking.
Unless they are referring to record breaking as in "Going Down the Drain" in red ink.
Ang Lee is going to have a bright future in Hollywood. Any actor or director willing to to a positive gay movie will have more doors open to them. Look at Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington after they did the Philidelphia Story (about a HIV gay man suing a law firm for firing him).
TY! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!
I can't believe he endorses this "Backdoor Mountin'" flick! Ugh! Isn't Jewel keeping him satisfied, or did he kick her out making her homeless again?
As I understand it Ty is NOT a working cowboy, he's a rodeo cowboy; big difference.
>>>Or it might have to do with Hollywood hunks Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal and their huge female fan bases. >>>
Watching the adorable Heath Ledger in a trailer for Casanova last night made me think of Brokeback Mtn. I decided (for the umpteenth time) that I, as a female, would probably want to throw up if I saw him kissing a man.
So I don't care how cute they think these two are, not many women would be ok watching (or dear God listening to them) do it.
"I find that the beauty of this film lies in its navigating away from stereotypes"
What? The notion that all gays are noble, tragic victims isn't a stereotype? Since when?
Why's the topic keep coming back nearly every day?
Damn. Obviously it's a slow newsweek............
Yes, it just could be all three cities are chock full of faggots.
On a per capita basis, there probably aren't as many in those three places as in Atlanta.
I can't even count all the different threads there are about this movie. Why so much fascination?
Does the Cattlemen have to put out a press release to straighten these people out, or what?
It just goes to show you what a pack of idiots these people really are. It takes more than a hat and jeans to make one a cowboy.
Their lack of knowledge of history is truly amazing.
Obviously, the flick will do well in gay-friendly and predominantly liberal urban areas.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.